6 December 1996

Tighten up your systems, beef

BEEF producers must tighten and simplify management systems to be able to plan effectively and survive.

Signet consultant David Evans told the BGS winter meeting that beef production was often carried out haphazardly.

"Many beef enterprises are much too complicated with no clear production objectives or structure to purchasing dates," he said.

"More emphasis should be placed on producing beef for a particular market and decidng on early or late maturing breeds with cattle in closely matched batches offered feeds of a known value," said Mr Evans

"Costs a kg must be cut by minimising days to finish and by managing grazing carefully.

"Every effort must be made to ensure that steers reach marketing age at under 27 months to keep well below 30 months but achieve the second payment BSP payment. Heifers should be finished before 21 months so that their second teeth have not erupted," he said.

But he warned that this meant some systems would have to improve lifetime daily growth rates to a sensible minimum of about 0.8kg average.

And that more effort should be made to reduce fixed costs by using contractors or joining machinery rings to reduce silage making costs.

producers warned

Signet consultant David Evans said that beef producers should concentrate on cutting fixed costs.


&#8226 Minimise days to finish.

&#8226 Manage grazing carefully.

&#8226 Rear in uniform batches.

The effect of increasing daily liveweight gains on lifetime energy consumption.


Start weight (kg)200200

Slaughter weight (kg)520490

Days to finish320193

ME/kg weight gain8368